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David Mccullough Quotes

Every book is a new journey. I never felt I was an expert on a subject as I embarked on a project.

First of all, you can make the argument that there's no such thing as the past. Nobody lived in the past.

I can fairly be called an amateur because I do what I do, in the original sense of the word - for love, because I love it. On the other hand, I think that those of us who make our living writing history can also be called true professionals.

I had been writing for about twelve years. I knew pretty well how you could find things out, but I had never been trained in an academic way how to go about the research.

I just thank my father and mother, my lucky stars, that I had the advantage of an education in the humanities.

I love all sides of the work but that doesn't mean it isn't hard.

I love Dickens. I love the way he sets a scene.

I work very hard on the writing, writing and rewriting and trying to weed out the lumber.

I would pay to do what I do if I had to.

I'm drawn particularly to stories that evolve out of the character of the protagonist.

I'm very aware how many distractions the reader has in life today, how many good reasons there are to put the book down.

In time I began to understand that it's when you start writing that you really find out what you don't know and need to know.

May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.

My next book is also set in the eighteenth century. It's about the Revolution, with the focus on the year 1776. It's about Washington and the army and the war. It's the nadir, the low point of the United States of America.

My shorthand answer is that I try to write the kind of book that I would like to read. If I can make it clear and interesting and compelling to me, then I hope maybe it will be for the reader.

No harm's done to history by making it something someone would want to read.

People are so helpful. People will stop what they're doing to show you something, to walk with you through a section of the town, or explain how a suspension bridge really works.

The pull, the attraction of history, is in our human nature. What makes us tick? Why do we do what we do? How much is luck the deciding factor?

The title always comes last. What I really work hard on is the beginning. Where do you begin? In what tone do you begin? I almost have to have a scene in my mind.

There's an awful temptation to just keep on researching. There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing.